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The World Bank, Microsoft Sri Lanka, Sarvodaya Fusion organizes :

‘Youth Solutions’ regional grant programmers

“Youth Solutions” the regional grant programme jointly organized by The World Bank, Microsoft Sri Lanka and Sarvodaya Fusion awarded eight projects funding their dream into a reality. While the idea behind the competition was to get solutions for current youth related problems from the youth of the south Asian region the problem assigned to the competitors was how Information Communication Technology (ICT) skills among youth could help them to gain secure employment opportunities.

Managing Director, Lafarage Mahaweli Cement (PVT) Ltd, Anrag Kak, representative of YPSA , Bangaladesh, General Manager, Avery Dennison Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, Moji Akingbade, representative of Live and Learn Environmental Education from the Maldives, Senior Communications Officer, World Bank, , Gabriela Aguilar, Asia Vice President of Insights Innovation and Social at MSLGROUP, Gaurav Mishra, Country Manager, Microsoft Sri Lanka, Sriyan de Silva Wijeyeratne, representative from Shilpa Sayura Foundation from Sri Lanka, representative from YUWA from Nepal. Picture by Nissanka Wijerathne

The award ceremony was held on Tuesday at the Cinnamon Grand and awarded applicants from four countries in the South Asian Region, Sri Lanka Maldives, Bangaladesh and Nepal.

“We got 80 project proposals of which we selected eight Non- Governmental Organizations (NGOs) two from each of the countries. The project proposals of each of these contestants were aimed at winning a grant between US $ 15, 000 and US $ 20, 000 to fund their projects,” Country Manager, Microsoft Sri Lanka, Sriyan de Silva Wijeyeratne said.

The winners of the competition were Shilpa Sayura Foundation from Sri Lanka, Young Power in Social Action (YPSA) from Bangaladesh, YUWA from Nepal and Live and Learn Environmental Education from the Maldives.

The project proposal submitted by the Sri Lankan contestant was to empower youth with IT skills to produce 10 high impact films on current social issues. The project was titled; ‘Digital Rainbow’ and it would train at least 100 youths to become film makers. YPSA’s project were to empower youth with disabilities through market driven ICT skills, its aim was to give ICT training to those with disabilities and provide them with internships relevantly.

Maldives aimed at reducing poverty by aiming to improve production and marketing craft through an online portal thus the youth would be engaged in training that would equip them with ICT skills to gain profitable employment. Nepal proposed a project to provide youth with comprehensive ICT education through the e-learning methodology, thereby providing the youth with sufficient education to gain employment.

“We are greatly impressed by the projects proposed and are proud to be among the minority that is betting on the youth and the technology to create a better future,” Wijeyeratne said.

The general comment for all contestants was that they should not focus on just technology, there should always be a balance between the main focus and the balancing of technology. “It is evident that without technology, none of the projects could not be achievable, however, a balance is necessary, so it is important for all participants to take this as food for thought,” Asia Vice President of Insights Innovation and Social at MSLGROUP, Gaurav Mishra stated, while addressing the audience after a very insightful presentation regarding the use of ICT in achieving humane goals.



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